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Just imagine if it was Scotland.

Imagine this situation. 

Scotland has been independent for ten years. Scotland elects a Government, left or right wing that our large neighbour England does not like. We offer no threat, we have 9% of the population of our large neighbour but they feel “threatened” and feel we are undermining their status as a World power. They want to station their nuclear weapons on our land and reestablish the submarine base at Faslane 

While most Scots are outraged, a grouping blame America and decry US programmes such as Friends and Frasier as being subversive. They think the English are only being aggressive because they lost the American Revolutionary War centuries before. Excuses are made that the English are sadly misunderstood and the 25% of the World they occupied in previous centuries was an enlightening process for the entire world and was motivated by a genuine desire to civilise rather than any interest to profit themselves. God knows how they suffered as they removed vast fortunes from countries around the globe.

The Scottish Government reject being bullied and the Borders region of Scotland which has seen huge population change through incoming English immigration in the years before Independence wants to secede and join the powerful English neighbour. The Scottish Government reject their plan making clear they consider the Borders an integral part of the Independent and Sovereign nation of Scotland.

Not accepting rejection England amasses a big army near the Scottish border, describing this as defence exercises. Meantime they put further demands before the Scottish Government threatening military action and invasion if Scotland does not bow to their demands. English agents are extremely active, encouraging and where possible and necessary offering Scots decision makers bribes to get their support.

If you never studied the history of Scotland you would probably think the above is all very far fetched but in fact it is exactly how Scotland was bullied and bribed into the Union with England in the first place. We are witnessing the same bullying tactics in Ukraine today.

Ukraine has been Independent for around thirty years. It is recognised by the United Nations as a free, independent nation. It’s people have benefited from Independence, they have no desire to allow themselves to be bullied by their aggressive large neighbour back into the Russian fold. They like democracy, they choose the Government they want. They want freedom of choice. They like freedom of the Press, freedom of religion. They like making their own decisions about what happens in their land. As is being made abundantly clear they are willing as a people to take responsibility for that, to the death if necessary.

People may be surprised at this courage and determination. I am not,  I have sufficient friends in Eastern Europe to know that having experienced freedom, after decades of subjugation, it will not be given up lightly.

What confounds me is Independence supporters in Scotland whose Twitter feeds are full of anti US rhetoric, providing excuses for Putin’s aggression rather than outrage at Russia’s disgusting attack on an Independent neighbour. What does that serve Ukrainians today? I have no problem with those who argue the US,indeed the EU, have not been helping over the years but some of it is just ridiculous. NATO has expanded for one overwhelming reason, because all these Independent countries wanted to join. Perhaps it would help if I explained why.

These newly independent countries, after years of being subjugated by Russia, against their wishes, resolved it must never happen again. Now they were Independent NATO offered their best chance of them staying Independent. The article 5 commitment was crucial to them and their future security. They all applied to join because they were worried about Russia doing precisely what they are doing to Ukraine today. They were not wrong were they?

They need to rebuild their economies, how could you possibly attract inward investment unless investors could believe their investment was secure and that it wasn’t just going to disappear anytime Putin decided to invade again? That is why joining NATO was crucial HOWEVER and this is where it could have been handled by NATO better, assurances should have been secured that it would be illegal to station missiles on these new members soil, other than in times of war. That was insensitive and foolish and should be corrected as part of ending the conflict in Ukraine. It also offers Putin a face saving way out of the mess his recklessness has caused.

World pressure on Russia offers the best hope of a peaceful end to the war. Sanctions are having an effect on Russia. The rouble has fallen off a cliff. Ordinary citizens can’t access the money in their bank accounts. The Russian stock market remains closed because the situation is too volatile to risk opening. Inflation is growing day by day.

Scotland can help by ramping up our oil and gas industry and help our European allies in being less reliant on Russian energy. Worldwide oil producing nations should do the same.

Who knows where we will be by the time this article is published. We live in dangerous times but those times are made much more dangerous when there is an outbreak of whitabootery and all too many ready to provide excuses for the aggressor. These are Russian shells, fired from Russian guns, ordered by the despot known as Putin. He had no respect for NATIONAL or PERSONAL FREEDOM. He seeks to re enslave the population of the Independent nation of Ukraine.

It should be opposed by all independence supporters who believe in the rights of self determination and freedom. Making excuses for Putin is a very damaging look for those who seek the Independence of Scotland. It chases moderate voters away in their droves.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.


Sadly some sites had given up on being pro Indy sites and have decided to become merely pro SNP sites where any criticism of the Party Leader or opposition to the latest policy extremes, results in censorship being applied. This, in the rather over optimistic belief that this will suppress public discussion on such topics. My regular readers have expertly worked out that by regularly sharing articles on this site defeats that censorship and makes it all rather pointless. I really do appreciate such support and free speech in Scotland is remaining unaffected by their juvenile censorship. Indeed it is has become a symptom of weakness and guilt. Quite encouraging really.


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  1. Unfortunately, you did not complete the analogy Iain.

    Sure, that’s pretty much exactly what happened with Scotland and England. But England won. Scotland has been part of Greater England for well over 300 years,

    England (as Westminster) has benefitted greatly from all of Scotland’s wealth. They still do.

    Half of Scotland’s population still feel part of Greater England, and our own government is too feart to challenge the status quo although they could do so democratically at any time.

    If only we had a leader to lead us…

    Liked by 22 people

    1. The nuSNP are our biggest problem and national embarrassment. Perhaps now YES can start marching it will become apparent to yessers that Sturgeon is a no show and the SNP are not the party of independence. Watch how fast she uses this conflict to bin her forced-upon-her indyref.

      We do have a leader – not a saint but definitely a leader – but unless he can get the show trial liars into the dock I fear he is stymied.

      Liked by 11 people

  2. “Ukraine has been Independent for around thirty years. It is recognised by the United Nations as a free, independent nation. Its people have benefited from Independence, they have no desire to allow themselves to be bullied by their aggressive large neighbour back into the Russian fold. They like democracy; they choose the Government they want. They want freedom of choice. They like freedom of the Press, freedom of religion. They like making their own decisions about what happens in their land. As is being made abundantly clear they are willing as a people to take responsibility for that, to the death if necessary.”

    All very laudable Iain and I do get it about Scotland and England, in fact, I would go along with much of what you have said – IF ONLY WE DID HAVE A FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.

    On the 28th March 2003, during the attack on Iraq, sixty-two people were killed by an American missile hitting the district of al-Shula district of Baghdad. The BBC dedicated exactly forty-five seconds to the massacre – less than one second per person.

    On the 7th July 2005, there was a terrorist bombing in London, the numbers were almost identical but the coverage became intimate with the lives of the victims – we were all required to mourn their loss or salute their courage.

    This is how it works, selective broadcasting by the media in favour of the western government, our government.

    Ukrainian’s problems started way back in 2013 when their leader was deposed in a coup instigated by the CIA housed in Ukraine, (doesn’t sound much like free choice or by the will of the people to me.) under American influence the newly installed leader started to steer Ukraine into joining the European Union (not a problem) but also under America’s influence NATO (big problem). It all ended badly for Ukraine. Once upon a time, all the Baltic countries were buffer states between Russia and Europe – they are now NATO outposts, better they had stayed independent and working PEACEFULLY on both their borders, east and west.

    Russia was never going to abandon its only ice-free port in the Black Sea (Crimea) then we had the breakaway states in the east of the country that wished to go in a different direction to the new Ukrainian regime, and declared themselves independent. The right-wing factions in Ukraine have been fighting to regain the breakaway states. There is nothing about the free choice of the people living in Ukraine in this scenario, you said yourself (the charge of the Light Brigade.)

    Sorry Iain you’re trying to put a square peg into a round hole, it just will not fit.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. On your first point – distance affects empathy, and it should. We feel the deaths nearer to us, it is only natural. Much as it pains me to say the BBC got anything right, if 60 people were killed in Iraq during an ongoing war, and 60 people killed in London in a fresh terrorist bombing, it is entirely understandable that the latter receives the most attention.

      Your attacks on Ukrainian democracy are pitiful and reprehensible.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I doubt to many if this matters but Ukraine has been a Nation for 30 years and now is respected as a nation because of this mad invasion but it was the Ukrainian leader who initiated this by applying to join NATO. Scotland has been occupied for around 300 odd years we have nuclear weapons a stone’s throw from Glasgow no one in Scotland would survive a nuclear attack and every city in England would be wiped out eventually wiping out mankind yet the only survivors would-be leaders and their families from every nuclear power on Earth. We Scots voted into Government a bunch of treacherous self-serving people now we wake up to find that most of them are gay and trans and the only aggression they can show is against the electorate who put them into a life of comfort a Government who could not say boo to casper the ghost I will end with something none of them know about ”Scotland’s recorded history begins with the arrival of the Romans around the 1st century, but the Kingdom of Scotland was not officially formed until the 9th century. There’s also evidence that Scotland has had people living in it since at least 12,000 BC.”

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I hear this all the time about 2014. Why? The last presidential election was in 2019. President Zelensky was elected with 73% of the votes in the second ballot. It seems pretty obvious he has overwhelming support from the Ukrainian people. I think it’s your square peg that has got it wrong here.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Yanukovich was a thief and a kremlin poodle, par excellence. The people got rid of him in a peaceful revolution. The leaders since then have been reasonable right up to the present gentleman, who is turning out to be a man of great character and integrity. He has the support of most of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant, I was discussing this very scenario last week with a good Yes voting friend.Thanks and stay safeDonaldIslaySent from my Galaxy

    Liked by 8 people

      1. Seemingly she went to a primary school in Paisley for a short period but no Bill we are not related. My real relatives have noted this slur against our family and will no doubt be in touch lol

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Very well explained Iain NATO must give Putin a way out of this war and that NATO should give assurances that the USA or any other member nation cannot use Ukraine to set up bases even troop bases, we could witness the destruction of the infrastructure of Ukraine with many deaths similar to what NATO permitted in Iraq and Libya not forgetting the cowardly pull out of Afghanistan but these countries were not Christian so they don’t matter this is where racism reared it’s unforgiving head ”if yer’ not Christian you don’t matter..!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. [but]these countries were not Christian so they don’t matter this is where racism reared it’s unforgiving head ”if yer’ not Christian you don’t matter..!

      As a Syriac Catholic from Iraq where the Christian population once 1.7 million has been almost decimated by the so called liberation from the Saddam régime, I cannot agree.
      Egypt, a client state of the US, has a Christian community of approx 15 million, exact figures are difficult. Their legal status is inferior to Muslims. The «west», UN etc seem unconcerned by the anomally.
      Christians are according to Amnesty International more likely than any community to be the subject of intolerance and violence.
      The west is not Christian in any meaningful sense.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I agree with what you say Alba, friend…

        “Anyone who wages war against another country has no religion.”

        Because to have no religion (or other kinda interconnectivity) is to have no soul.

        Evil will be left behind and new doors will open.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. That is a good analogy Iain.

    However, in terms of Scotland, my view is that once independent we need to be nuclear-free (obviously!) but also not a member of NATO. We should remain neutral without membership of any military bloc or grouping.

    It seems to me that small countries manage to live alongside larger nations with historical bullying tendencies without the need for membership of a military alliance.

    Take Ireland, who suffered at the hands of the British/English for 700-800 years. As an independent country Ireland stayed neutral during World War II or “The Emergency” as they euphemistically put it. They weren’t invaded or bombed by the Germans. Or the English for that matter. 100 years on from independence, or at least since gaining “Free State” status, the remain unaligned and militarily outside of NATO.

    SImilarly the Scandanavian countries, are on the ‘front-line’ with Russia (and Germany, in the case of Denmark). They see no requirement for NATO membership. Why should we?

    The Scandanavian countries and Ireland manage this well because they genuinely use their ‘soft power’ to have influence. The Irish have friends in the USA – no American connection, no Good Friday Agreement – are popular members of the EU and now have a seat on the 15 member UN Security Council.

    What Scotland needs to do is to utilise the goodwill that it has around the World via its diaspora and by its actions. These actions must be peaceful, sensible and rational. We need to take a moral stance, sure, on matters like the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But we also need to protest the British involvement of weapons supply to terrorist regimes in the middle east e.g. Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the World where it supports despots in return for profit.

    It will not happen via actions like those of SNP MPs Alyn Smith and Stewart McDonald posing alongside a Union Jack, the Jolly Roger of diplomatic flags. They just looked like poodles of the (bullying) British state.

    Consistency is key. And we must make it clear that there is no ulterior motive or vested interest. Our aim must always be peace and prosperity but not profiteering exploitation.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. There is an ancient Scots diaspora in eastern Europe, Poland, as it existed in its various forms, the Baltic statesand Russia benefited from that influx of new blood. At the time the east was the land of opportunity for Italians, French, Germans and Swedes.
      One Russian historian reckons hundreds of thousands of Russians have Scottish links. Vladimir Putin referred to Scots in Russia when he was welcomed by the then new Scottish parliament. What irony.
      The Scottish diaspora is not exclusively part of the Anglosphere. Speaking another language does change the point of view, sometimes quite significantly.
      Scotland can at times seem rather, stereotypically anglo-american in outlook, the residues of Calvinism probably.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Not from where I am sitting. I wouldnae mistake our small contemptuous entitled class for Scotland as a whole. The current political class like to kiss the arse of establsihed power hoping to fill their bank accounts, vindictive wee middle managers like Sturgeon, Swinney and Yousaf nae doot find it easier to side with power than oppose it and a damn site more lucrative.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Agree with a lot of that but both Finland and Sweden are considering joining NATO at the moment, another unintended folly of Putin’s aggression.they have both already sent weapons to Ukraine.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. ”SNP MPs Alyn Smith and Stewart McDonald posing alongside a Union Jack, the Jolly Roger of diplomatic flags. They just looked like poodles of the (bullying) British state.” Those two with a few of the others in the SNP are so bloody naive they are the boy scouts of foreign policy and every night they go to bed they look under the bed making sure there are no Russians under it . Ireland and those other countries you mentioned do not need the ”broad shouers of any larger country especially the murderous UK which the new SNP has grown ever closer to thus banding all they were voted into power for.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. That does not quite work for me. Scotland is a far older entity than the modern state of Ukrain with faily fixed frontiers for more than six hundred years. Not so in the Ukrainian case. Even Ukrainian nationality is a relatively modern notion.
    Taking this matter out of the context of the US-Soviet/US-Russia contest for power, hemispheric influence and the imperial(ist) history of both makes no sense.
    The British fought a Great Game with Russia, to keep the Russians out of Afghanistan and of course away from the great imperial jewel, India. The US, Nato and the much reduced British entity continue the game together. In both scenarios China watched with interest for its «moment».
    The American expression if you (Scotland) cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen certainly applies here.
    Scotland needs new leaders, sophisticated leaders who understand that the world is one big power related board game played according to «dual standard» rules.
    In dealing with England Scotland needs much finer political substance than currently on offer.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. In dealing with England Scotland needs much finer political substance than currently on offer.

      I completely agree – I despair for our independence. Holyrood might as well be a Students Union bar for the maturity and accountability of what goes on in there. I have actually reached the point where I wonder why we pay for these idiots, their misuse of our law and the higher taxes they bring. We can send a real independence party to Westminster and open independence negotiations. What is the point of Holyrood? Who in their right mind would want Sturgeon leading negotiations?

      Liked by 12 people

      1. Agree with what you’re saying – Holyrood politics are a mess, SNP are a busted flush (at least with current leadership and inner clique) and the independence of the policing/legal systems have been badly compromised. I like what Alba have done so far in terms of consideration for womens’ rights but imagine how much power and support a Scottish Womens’ Party could mount?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Right now we have an SNP Party which I would not employ in Disneyland they have a Defence Spokesman who was a holiday rep Stewart McDonald and his ”friend” Alyn Smith who check under their bed every night to make sure Putin is not under it. Independence is far from their minds in fact I can safely say that they binned Independence back in 2017 they also ”lost” £666,000 that their members and non-members collected to put towards IndyRef2.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. The Analogy is Rubbish! From Day 1 of Our Justified Independence The SNP & Scottish Greens Government Will join NATO & that Will Stop any English aggression!!!


  8. Hmm, I seem to have missed a big pile of controversy by not keeping an eye on comments (or twitter, or much of anything) (I don’t comment when I’ve lost all hope, no one needs to hear ‘wir doomed!’), so I’ll throw my tuppence worth in without knowing what the prevailing opinions are,,,

    And not knowing the complexity of the political situation in Ukraine, I think it best, usually, to stay out of most debates – I don’t believe any country/leadership are innocents in any of it, I don’t listen to the ‘Ukraine is happy flowers and all is rosy’ propaganda in the media (who now have a war to fear monger on, so it seems the pandemic is over – who’d have thought our health, after being overridden by politics, would now be ovrerriden by media?! Well, maybe doctors will now be allowed to give us individual treatment and mention the ‘c’ word without fear?),,, I digress,,,

    In your hypothetical independent Scotland Iain, has it spent the last 8 years bombing and murdering Shetland citizens for their dissent? I believe it was in the last Prism show where I learned of similar being done in Ukraine? I just mention it to emphasise ‘none are innocent’. But then, which country with history ever is? I don’t think its a good strategy to ever portray ourselves as lovely and innocent – we should acknowledge our past and condemn any atrocities in our name (sorry, going off at a tangent, thinking of the British empire).

    Whetever the hideousness of certain NATO countries’ political, and agressive, manoeuvring – there is never a good excuse for invading another country; for destruction and murder. A justifiable excuse can be made for defending oneself, but not for being the aggressor. If Russia has a bone to pick with USA, then that’s where the aggression should lie, not these endless proxy wars destroying other countries – its always going to be the citizens that suffer for these power games. Putin has no good excuse for invasion, because its plainly wrong, just as the USA is wrong for all its invasions & destruction. I hope the sanctions do work as you say Iain, but I also wish sanctions were imposed to the same extent for other proxy wars – on those responsible. No one country should be allowed unfettered power to impose that power on other sovereign states – we need a balance.

    That’s my tuppence worth – there are far, far too many nuances on the politics side, so I’m sticking to the basics – war and invading another country is wrong on any level, however shit either side(s) are.

    Keep up the good work Iain!

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Ah the Khalifa aka caliphate. In the Arab world that outfit and al Qaida are considered state department front organizations doing an excellent job in destabilizing the MidEast region, particularly Syria and creating factionalism and systemic weakness, all rather successfully too.
        I could handle the US bullying if it were not for the evangelical self-righteousness that frequently accompanies it.
        Is it possible that some of the weapons murdering Yemenis were manufactured in the arms factories of Ukrain?
        The western media sanctimony over Putin and Russia is nauseatingly familiar to my parents who recall the same over Saddam, the monster, the new hitler, the evil incarnate and so forth.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The UK works on the principle that it has no principles. It will sell weapons to anyone. Instruments of torture too, or so I read.

        Liked by 6 people

    1. Don’t think I disagree with any of that, other than point out, as I have done elsewhere, that NATO consists of 30 countries, not just the US, that is important otherwise you give people like Blair a free pass on Iraq and the dodgy dossier episode where British Intelligence mislead the Americans and everybody else

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Invasions of Iraq Afghanistan Libya execution of men women and children obliteration of wedding parties brutal assassination of Ghadafi and Saddam, Ghadafi’s was absolute brutality on the orders of Sarkozy Bush and Blair more so Sarkozy and Blair who got loans of millions from Ghadafi and now we scots are in the lily-white hands of a UK puppet Govt. hellbent on turning our children of the future into fairies! Meantime ordinary expendable families suffer at the hands of a dictator from Russia and one from Ukraine who has been turned into a hero by Western media and we have a stupid elitist woman in London asking for volunteers to go and fight against Russia in the Ukraine and some men are volunteering but wait until a bullet screams past their heads or a missile destruct in front of them they will be screaming for their mammy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The brutal assassination of Saddam and Gaddafi? I’m still in mourning for those bastions of human rights in the Middle East. You should try and think before you type, Alba, because your post is embarrassing.


  9. You can be outraged at what Russia has done and understand how the situation has developed from a geo political perspective. The two points of view are not mutually exclusive although some on the anti-US side may not have emphasised that, myself included.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My support for Ukraine in no way ignores bad things that the West have done in the past. A big mistake however is to blame everything on the US, NATO Is thirty countries. When you give the US all the blame you give people like Blair a free pass.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Nato may be made up of 30 countries but it can do nothing without US arms or their consent.
        The US does as it wants with or without Nato – its an organisation that should have been scrapped after the USSR disbanded. As far as I can remember Blair & Bush carried out the war in Iraq not Nato.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Interestingly, you cleverly missed out the borders of Scotland being bombed for 8 years.
    Did you do that on purpose whilst faithfully following the EU, usa, uk, NATO, political rhetoric ?
    Or was your plan just to fill up the blank sheet with blah blah blah meh! ?
    I fail to see the comparison between facist corrupt Ukraine screaming out for nuclear weapons to destroy Russia and Scotland’s history with England from 300 years ago! considering that a large proportion of Scotland’s clans were complicit! ( never trust a Campbell) but nice try! ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz………..!


    1. No this is a blog not a new version of War and Peace. I could point you missed out loads of things, pointless! You don’t mention how fascist Putin’s Russia is, or indeed, the growth of Fascism in recent years in Scotland.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The Campbells were certainly pro the Crown, but they were also strategists and political players par excellence. If you are referring to Glen Coe, I suggest you read the actually historical documents because, if you did, you would discover that it was not the Campbells who instigated it, but William of Orange, whose orders were relayed north, and that the contingent was made up of several clan names. Still, better the story than the reality, eh? Campbells also fought at Culloden, and Argyll hid Culloden survivors on his land. We have ever been a pragmatic and realistic lot, but don’t make the same simplistic mistakes as so many have made.

      Liked by 5 people

    3. Phew. What a confused mind you have wen it comes to geopolitics. It was true that Ukraine was run by a fascist, corrupt dictator. His name was Yanukovich and he was a stooge of the Kremlin. Get your facts right.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Imagine an independent Scots republic whose citizens opt for non alignment. No Nato, no nukes, «friendly» to all but nevertheless a country perceived by the west’s powers as important to the geopolitics of a US/Western defence strategy.
    Scotland might end up in this situation.
    Where we are presented with an offer we cannot refuse, not without incurring great cost.
    Hypothetical, but bullying tactics are part of the amoury of power. It is not unique to one system.
    Check out the history of Hawai’i for a rather germaine example of the type.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have no problem with that. Whatever Scotland democratically decides about NATO is fine with me. Yes I might argue for one side in the debate but I will totally accept the decision. That is what democracy is about.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In an authentic democracy it is often a requirement to bite your tongue or better still to smile in the face of, in extremis, seeming lunacy in the hope reason eventually returns. An opinion, no matter how off the wall, ought never to be blanked, cancelled or suppressed. Irony and humour, fact and reason are noble and clean «weapons», should any weaponry be needed. Pity that intellectual armoury is so under used.
        In this current matter I am sure reason will prevail, everyone has simply too much to lose.
        The possibility of a second Afghanistan or Yemen festering in the heart of Europe should clear even the most blood lusting minds.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Independence with no NATO and no nukes? All that ocean and deep water for Russian or, gasp, Chinese submarines to hide? It’s simply not going to happen.

      However a deft and wily leader could steer a path where Scotland expressed a common defence interest and still managed to stay out of the clutches of the superpowers. No, Nicola, not you.

      If they were clever they could even get a deal to sweeten the pill should NATO membership be compulsory. How about a return to large scale shipbuilding on the Clyde putting together warships for NATO?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The downside to that would be that the target for the missiles moves from Faslane right into Glasgow. Where does the fishing boat work go? There’s a whole can of worms, too; fishing boat size…


    3. This is an excellent discussion, even the ill-tempered parts. Thanks to all.

      duncanio has the right idea. Scots wield an incredible amount of soft power. We integrate well, except perhaps in Hong Kong and the southern United States, and are generally well liked – or at least that’s my experience. Breaking away from England would actually be a net gain for the world and after the Johnson and Truss pantomime should be an easy sell.

      If only there was a charming and charismatic leader that could head up the effort so we could get on with it?

      Liked by 7 people

  12. Ah we seem to have another day of excitable frisky posters 🙂 I blame the stress of the mad czar threatening to nuke us all. On that subject I wish politicians would ramp down the rhetoric. Yes Putin is very wrong. Yes he might be mad as a hatter. Yes I think it will be a bad thing if the mad czar sees no way out and goes nuclear. There has to be an end path out of this. In the past an unconditional surrender by Russia might have been a reasonable expectation. Now, with a leader who has said ‘if there is no Russia why do we need a planet?’ I think some grown up thinking needs to be done. Either there needs to be a coup in Russia to remove Putin or we have to limit this to supplying arms to the Ukraine and applying the extreme sanctions. Act, not provoke pointlessly. Biden banging his ancient gums about ‘you have no idea what is coming’ suggest he has no clue what might be coming either. I get that our politicians love to play to the voters but right now it is pretty serious and I wish for once they could act like responsible leaders. If we get fried because Truss and Biden can’t restrain their language I will be very annoyed. No-one will care.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Bush on Iraq was very wrong,
      Blair on Iraq was very wrong.
      Cameron on Libya was very wrong.
      Sarkozy on Libya was very wrong.
      UK, France, Israel on Suez canal assault were very wrong.
      West on Syria was/is very wrong….etc through the 20th century list of failed interventions.
      In all these, and more, the facts do speak for themselves. Imperial powers eventually run out of puff.
      The facts + truth also often get lost somewhere in the translation, probably by design.
      For media, truth is just too uncool.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. The media, of course, are complicit in all of this. Throughout the West they have been acting as mouthpieces of their governments, with only a few notable exceptions whose numbers have dwindled with each succeeding invasion. I can remember the lead up to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq etc. where the media blitzkrieg preceded the action but at least there were some questioning members of the media.

        The lies told before the Iraq war, for instance, were actually generally known to those paying attention, so later perceptions that the public were led astray to believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction is not quite true. Anyone following the reports given by the UN Weapons Inspectors would know that they had stated again and again that they had been able to go wherever they wished at a moment’s notice to inspect sites nominated by them and had found nothing to suggest weapons of mass destruction or that such a capability existed any more. However, US and British troops had been massing on the border and orders came suddenly to the inspectors to quit immediately so that the invasion could go ahead without a UN sanction. We all know the deaths and destruction of infrastructure wreaked thereafter on the Iraqi people. How did we know that there were no weapons of mass destruction then before that invasion? Because then we had some in the media who reported all that. There were mass rallies in London and other cities against the war but parliament had authorised Blair’s invasion and parliament had the last word. Electorates in our own much-vaunted democracies with each succeeding war ‘to spread democracy’ have become even more impotent. Politicians generally get what they want.

        Since then, the media have become even more part of the political establishment and have helped drive support for subsequent regime changes which NATO will decide. At the fall of the Soviet Union it looked for a brief time, now that the cold war had seemingly come to an end, that there would be some kind of accommodation for Russia within a new world order, after all, while Yeltsin was in power, there was much to be plundered by western speculators in the former Soviet enterprises. From this economic looting and virtual banditry which the ordinary citizens of Russia suffered, emerged the powerful oligarchs. Everyone criticises the power and shady accumulation of wealth of these people but many forget it was the result of the Klondike free-for-all unleashed on Russia by the many so-called economic advisers who flocked to Russia to educate in how to set-up a ‘liberal democracy’ with unbridled capitalism as a necessary part of the mix. To cut a long story short, out of this came Putin the ‘strong man’ who seemed to promise to tame this rampant economic banditry and to use that hackneyed phrase, ‘the rest is history’.

        The history since then seems to have been to divide the world into two blocs as if politicians on both sides are only comfortable with that, since they understand the system. I am now convinced, though I long fought against it, that we in Scotland are doomed to be powerless in ‘pretendy’ versions of democracy. Small countries will have to choose which power bloc to be absorbed by. I used to think that Scotland could be a decent little democracy and crucially, independent, but now doubt that very much. I detest NATO’s machinations and war mongering and am astounded by Putin’s violent aggression.( I can’t see what Russia could possibly gain from this impending disaster) The one principle I still believe in is that war is never the answer to political grievance and that ordinary citizens of whatever country would never choose to go to war – if they are only told the truth. And where is truth residing today?

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Russia is an imperialist power. The was, unfortunately, no intervention in Syria except by the fascist Russians who found it quite easy to back a fascist (Ba’athist) dictator like Assad. The result? 600,000 dead and 13 million displaced.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. O/t but hey it’s been a long time since GRA was not the most contentious subject discussed on a particular day!

    For Women Scotland –

    1. Request a paper copy of the census – do not complete the online version
    2. They recommend that people fill in the religion section with “Believer in Biology”.

    Tomorrow (Thurs) the GRA bill presented to Holyrood. That should be fun, not!

    Liked by 10 people

    (Post 2014 Referendum)

    Loch Ness hills under snow today.
    Lunchtime concert on Radio 3.

    Denis Kozhukhin on piano.
    Mussorgsky: ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’.

    Our joyful rendition of ‘Ode to Freiheit’ –
    it faltered. Are we going tone-deaf again?

    The Great Gate of Kiev was in touching distance.
    Those glorious opening bars of our Freedom Song.

    But then some oil-mellowed hidden chain purred shut again
    our fleeting portal to tomorrow and the far horizon.

    Who flicked that wretched switch? Who from what shadowy pit
    gave plotted nod to drop the curtain on our Dawn Chorus of hope?

    Who had long rehearsed the brutal snap of our dancing fingers
    and the stealthful slit of our vibrant vocal chords?

    Who picked up that sickening stick? Whose wicked hand
    twitched the stygian wand to stymie our magic moment?

    Whose gold-tarnished claw raised with sang froid
    the back-stabbing baton to orchestrate this wintry

    conspiracy of silence?

    (As dèidh Reifrinn 2014)

    Cnuic Loch Nis fo sneachd an-diugh.
    Cuirm-chiùil àm-lòin Ràidio 3.

    Denis Kozhukhin air piàno.
    Mussorgsky: ‘Deilbh aig Taisbeanadh’.

    Cha d’thàinig e. Ar saorsa.
    Tha sinn air fàs ceòl-bhodhar a-rithist.

    Bha Geata Mòr Khiev an-siud
    a’ fosgladh fa ar comhair le glòir

    ach chaidh slabhraidh cheilte a shlaodadh
    agus le purradh ùillidh chaidh a dhùnadh as ùr.

    Saoil cò thug an àithne chealgach ud los
    eòin cheòlmhor na maidne a mhùchadh?

    Cò an dearg-bhrùid ud a bhris meòir air mhire ar luchd-ciùil?
    Cò am fear-brath a bheartaich glas-ghuib air còisir ar n-èibhneis?

    Cò leis an làmh shlìom a dh’iomair am baton-brèige,
    slacan-draoidh slìogach ud co-fheall geamhrail na tostachd?


    Liked by 4 people

  15. I feel your pain, Iain, not just about Ukraine but also the parade of rather smug comments from people who claim to know all about the place from a cut and pasted version of recent history. I am very over being lectured to about 2014, NATO, the US etc, as if most of us are children. None of it, needless to say, makes the excuse for Putin’s actions they imply, as if this was foreseen, or inevitable, or it is simply Russia ‘defending itself’ etc etc.

    I am not interested in getting into social media spats about it, they are pointless and most of them are far more about the posters crowing about being ‘right’, the fault of the West blah blah. Yes, NATO can be criticised, but they fail to extend the same cynicism and blame to Putin and his mobsters. And of course, they seldom mention Ukrainians or what they want. Whatever the past, they don’t deserve the destruction and looting of their country in some crazed attempt at restoring a lost empire.

    Like you, I have been to both Ukraine and Russia, and have always found the people very keen to talk, share and look forward. They have deep reserves of stoicism, born from the collective memory of decades of privation, poverty and dictatorship. There is, understandably, an enormous gap between the new generations who look forward, and their grandparents generation, some of whom wish to return to the past. I do not believe there is remotely any desire to return to Soviet days, or that the West is to blame in the way many posters believe.

    So I am appalled to see their suffering and disruption which will once again wreck the progress they had made, their hopes for normalisation and independent lives, while the self-styled commentators argue about which of their betes noirs is to blame. There comes a point when that doesn’t matter, and the invasion and occupation eclipses the verbiage. It is clear who the villain is, no amount of prevaricating will alter that.

    There have been a few pieces which summed this up. Peter Beinart:

    Owen Hatherley:

    Open Democracy has carried good accounts from Ukrainians:
    which might make people think again about what they believe or know

    I would recommend listening before jumping to stake your position out – social media encourages everybody to think they must take a position and defend it aggressively.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. The absurdity of NATO’s transgressions in Ukraine is such that not only are the Russians systematically dismantling the Military infrastructure in Ukraine preventing there use by NATO but if Belarus now installs nuclear weapons these weapons will now be on the border of NATO. If Putin is paranoid then the accession of Hitler’s ally Finland to NATO and Hitler’s iron ore supplier Sweden may push him over the edge.


    1. Hitler helped the Finns with hardware during the Winter War; in return they allowed German troops in during WW2.

      The Finns had the Continuation War in the meantime, too, but didn’t really participate in WW2 as such.


      Yeah, DNFTT….

      Liked by 2 people

    St Petersburg this year.
    Subway station deep as a lament.

    Soviet escalator streaming
    endless as a Stalin blacklist. 
    Sudden rhythm of trainers as a youth
    lithely syncopates past hunched backs,

    dancing with élan up to the daylight
    of international Nevskiy Prospekt

    where Tolstoi and Solzhenitsyn
    sit tête-à-tête in McDonalds 

    over their well-salted “фиш & чипс”
    drenched in dense Cyrillic vinegar.

    Cathair Pheadair na Rùise am bliadhna.
    Stèisean fo-thalamh cho domhainn ri cumha.
    Staidhre bheò Shòibheideach 
    cho neo-chrìochnach ri dubh-liosta Stàilinn.
    A chlisge ruitheam threunairean de dheagair
    a’ snìomh seachad air dromannan croma
    na ruith suas gu sunndach dhan t-solas 
    air Nevskiy Prospekt eadar-nàiseanta
    far a bheil Tolstoi is Soilsinìtsin air an dòigh
    nan suidhe còmhla ann am McDonalds
    ris an cuid “фиш & чипс” deagh-shaillte
    ’s e fìor-bhàite ann am fìon-geur Cirilise.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Everyone keeps telling me what Scotland will be like! We will be in NATO. We won’t be in NATO. We will be joining the EU. We will be joining EFTA. On and on it goes.

    I thought the People would decide those issues?

    Sturgeon is shaping Scotland without debate. She is wrong to do so and so is anyone else going down that road.

    Can we simply focus on getting the Right to shape our future.

    In 100 years we will either be following Westminster policies OR politicises shaped by the People of Scotland. The latter what I campaign for…not to shape it. Simply to enable it.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Imagine this.

    An independent Scotland signs an agreement with England’s enemies to secure —

    – missiles
    – 8 fast missile warships
    – the creation of two new naval bases on the Black Sea and Sea of A
    – frigate capability
    – the purchase of two refurbished Sandown class mine sweeper vessels
    – since 2015 U.K. the training of 21,000 Armed Forces of Ukraine

    With the arming of Scotland with state of the art weaponry what view do you think England would take of neighbour Scotland. Do you think that having these military assets deployed on their doorstep the Russians would see this as a military risk.

    Let us therefore further imagine the situation a few hundred years ago when Scotland was in an Alliance with France a country with whom who England.was repeatedly at war with.

    Of course Scotland has the right to defend itself from England. But 1700s France had nuclear weapons.And so why then shouldn’t Scotland have nuclear weapons. It’s simples really. The more countries that France tool up around England the better. Proxies against England in fact,

    It’s all interesting stuff. A Cold War that was supposed to have gone away but hasn’t. Could Scotland be being used as a proxy for France against England or is Scotland simply asserting it’s right to be tooled up with French nuclear weapons from France that has declared its objective of dismantling England who it sees as an evil empire.

    Of course there’s no validity in this little allegorical tale. Things are crystal clear. The reality today is Putin and the Federation are bad, whilst Boris and the Empire are good. And would England go into Scotland if Scotland was to host French, or anybody else’s weaponry that was to be pointed at them. You bet they would and therein lies the difficulty.

    But swap it about with different actors. Think Soviet missiles in Cuba on the doorstep of America. Only there to defend Cuba. Unfortunately the Americans didn’t see it that way. It’s the stuff conflicts are made of. So why the surprise. It’s not as if the planners didn’t see it coming. Of course they did and now the people both in Ukraine and wider afield suffer.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ask yourself – how realistic is it to say that Putin will fully conquer a country twice the size of France with a population of 47 million, most of whom detest them. A long drawn-out guerilla war with the more highly motivated natives armed with the very latest modern technology? From where I’m sitting it doesn’t look good for Putin. Some of his demotivated troops are deserting already after only a week and their organization and logistics are confused and chaotic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s why the conflict can only spread. Or at least has the very real potential to spread.

        Ukraine is in so many ways a proxy war. Ukraine is being armed and supported by NATO. Ukraine’s military supply lines come from NATO and or the EU. No one should therefore be surprised if the conflict widens to include the use of theatre nuclear armaments. The Russian Federation like NATO are no shrinking violets.

        The observation that highly motivated natives armed with the very latest modern technology might not look good for Putin might prove to cut more than one way.


  20. GRA bill out, Robison introducing it at 2pm. Basically self id at 16! No checks whatsoever. I’ve sent GrumpyScottishMan blog a wee article which I’m hoping he’ll publish (Iain likes you to use real name which on this subject – no can do!). I’m raging…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Just lmagine a Scotland where you could change sex at will.
    Just imagine a Scotland where you could change politicians at will.

    Liked by 2 people

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